Saturday, January 16, 2016

Monte, We Barely Knew Ye

Yesterday I returned to my volunteer work at the shelter and fell in love. I mean, I usually fall in strong like with at least one cat each time, but I fell in love with 12 year old Monte.

He was so sweet and loving. He liked to be pet and even played a little. But mostly he just liked human contact. He was one of those cats who would sit next to you and gently raise his paw to pat your arm "Pet me, please."

After saying farewell, the memory of him stayed with me all day. So much so that I began seriously thinking about adopting him. We had such success with our 12 year old Kia (also an Aurora Animal Shelter alumnus) and a slow introduction to our dogs, I knew we could do it again. 

I began campaigning for Monte to my husband. It took a little convincing but after showing him a video of Monte and several photos he consented. I was over the moon with happiness.

This morning we were about to leave for the shelter when I thought I would call first to be sure Monte was indeed available for adoption; his paperwork didn't really indicate that he was.

It was a good thing I called first so my tears could be shed in private and not in the lobby of the shelter. I learned that Monte was suffering with severe diabetes so advanced he had to be euthanized. 

I am heartbroken because I already felt he was mine. I understand he was a very sick kitty and nothing more could be done for him. He was in pain although he didn't show it. Losing him was the most heart-wrenching experience I have had as a volunteer. I went into this volunteer work knowing that some days would be difficult but this is the first time I have felt it so personally. This type of work is not for the faint of heart...

I am happy that my friend and I could give him some happy last moments and show him love. But the tears are still here.

I thank you, Monte, for showing me that I have room in my heart for another cat. I didn't think I was up to another slow introduction to my dogs and Kia but you showed me I could do it. I am ready to do it. And although you never lived in our house you will live in my heart for all time. You were mine for an hour...

I will never forget your gentle manner and your little paw tapping my arm, "Love me - if only for the moment."